Obituary: Sister Ellen Gielty, former leader of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Sister Ellen Bernadette Gielty, SNDdeN, general moderator (superior general) of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) for 12 years (1990-2002), died suddenly at 88 years of age on Sept. 3, 2022, in a hospital in Southport, England. A Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 70 years, she was an educator and administrator par excellence in England. She served two terms in General Leadership, from 1990 to 2002 in Rome, Italy, as the 17th superior general of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Known internationally for her extraordinary leadership with and for many other religious congregations, Sister Ellen worked tirelessly on the Executive Committee of the Union of Superiors General (UISG) in Rome, throughout her two mandates. After her time in General Leadership, when she lived in Oxford and Birkdale, she assisted the Religious Congregation of Our Lady of Walsingham in its founding years.
Through her Leadership in the Congregation, Sister Ellen actualized, with two General Government Teams, the Acts of the General Chapters of 1990 and 1996.
Born in Stirling, Perthshire, Scotland, on Oct. 7, 1933, Ellen was the youngest of the 10 children of James Gielty and Mary Fadian Gielty, who had migrated from the west of Ireland to Scotland and married in Stirling.
In 1995, Emmanuel College awarded her an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, "for her lifelong commitment to education and . . . Leadership of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur."
Sister Ellen's spiritual depth in communicating the vision and values of St. Julie and Francoise Blin de Bourdon, expressed in her rich command of the English language with a spontaneous wit, captivated and inspired her listeners at various international assemblies. In her presence, she communicated profoundly her life's convictions as a disciple of Jesus and a Servant Leader for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
Sister Ellen's Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Bishop John Rawsthorne, the bishop emeritus of Hallam, at Our Lady and All Saints Church in Parbold, England, on Sept. 21, 2022. Sister Ellen was buried in the Notre Dame Cemetery, also in Parbold.